September 20, 2018

Life: a continuous test of endurance

Life: a continuous test of endurance

Life is an amalgamation of unpredictable ups, and downs. Unfavorable events lead to anxiety. If the stresses keep piling up, it can bring about devastating consequences. Contentious pressure reduces the thinking capacity, hampering the day-to-day activities. Eventually, it leads to fatigue, mental disorders, and provokes suicidal thoughts.

Suicide cases in Nepal
According to Nepal Police, in the fiscal year, 2073-74 5,131 suicide cases were recorded in Nepal. The number increased to 5,346 the following year. Talking about the reason for the increase in suicide rate, Nepal Police Spokesperson -- SSP Shailesh Thapa Kshetri, informed, “Stress and trauma are the main causes of suicide among youngsters. Increase in stress leads to suicide, which is usually planned. Stress is mainly caused by situations like break up, poverty, and conflicts. Meanwhile, unplanned suicides are the result of trauma. One could face such traumatic situation when his/her close ones die, faces major failure in life, and feel hopeless with life.”

Dev Krishna KC, 42, is a clinical assistant at Model Hospital. He had attempted suicide in 2015. Then, he was engaged in politics and social work. He says the never-ending conflict and corruption triggered hopelessness. Consequently, the desire to end his life grew strong. 

KC elaborated, “I was involved with Araniko Samaj, and got an opportunity to visit an agricultural conference in China, in April 2015. There, I was impressed by the Chinese working system. While comparing the system of Nepal and China, I felt hopeless and I realized how corrupt our society was. I felt everyone in the society were frauds. I kept thinking about it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion to commit suicide.”

He tried taking his own life by consuming pesticide. However, he says he regrets his decision to this day. “My brother and wife found me numb in the forest. They attempted to revive me by performing preliminary actions but later admitted me to the hospital. It took me 14 days to gain consciousness.” 

With the support of his family and society and the help from his psychiatrist, KC now lives a normal life. KC also revealed that he was suffering from anxiety, and was on medication before he tried committing suicide. 

According to the report prepared by the International Association for Suicides Presentation, suicides are the fifteenth leading cause of death. Annually, more than 800,000 people commit suicide. A report prepared by KOSHISH (an organization working on mental health issues) shows suicide as the leading cause of death among the age group of 18 to 45.

Reasons for suicide
Explaining the reasons of suicide, information officer of Mental Hospital, Ananta Adhikari, stated, “More than 80 percent of suicides are found to be associated with mental health issues. Most of the victims belong to the age group of 18 - 40.”

Further explaining the scenario of mental health associated with suicides, Laxman Nath, program coordinator of Mental Health, and Psycho-Social Wellbeing – KOSHISH, stated that more than 60 percentage of suicides are found to be associated with depression. He added, “Suicides are considered the second leading cause of death among youngsters, and every year thousands of people lose their lives due to suicides. However, we can improve the condition by maintaining the mental wellbeing of people.”

According to the World Health Organization, 10-20 percent of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. Half of the mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, and three-quarters by the mid-20s. It shows that youths are vulnerable to suicides in comparison to people of other age groups. To stay mentally fit, one should not endure excessive stress. If anything is bothering, then talking about the problem is highly advisable. Likewise, if anyone has suicidal thoughts, then the best solution is visiting a psychiatrist. 

About maintaining the mental wellbeing, Nath said, “Suicides are planned actions; people rarely commit suicides without any plan. So, those people who have planned to give up their life will start to show signs. For example, they might start living alone, lose interest in social interactions, talk about committing suicide, and also start the search for suicide materials.”

Further explaining why youths are prone to suicides and what measures can be taken to reduce the number of suicides among youths, Clinical psychologist of Mental Hospital, Trishna Bista, said, “Youths are in the phase of development and don’t have coping strategies. That’s why they tend to suffer from mental illness. When their frustrations exceed their capacity bearing limit, they commit suicides.” 

Similarly, Nath added, “Though suicides are seemingly impossible to control, suicides can be prevented. For this, all members of the society have to work together.” 

KC, who has now been living a normal life, says, “Life is a challenge, and you have to struggle for your life. The important thing in life is you should not give up.”

How to identify prospective suicide victims
Like mental illnesses, suicides are also affected by different circumstances. However, there are three main factors that are closely related to mental illness and suicides: biological, social, and psychological environment.  Bista elaborated, “Mental health and suicide are not jokes. So, the parents and other relatives who are close to the person should take special care and let them talk about their feelings.  Professional help is also highly advisable."

Signs of suicidal tendency
1.     Living along and searching for peace.
2.    Inclination toward suicidal conversations . 
3.     Searching for suicide materials.
4.     Avoiding social gathering. 
5.     Writing about suicides on social media. 
6.     Start to harm themselves. 
7.     Start to complete the uncompleted transactions. 
8.     A rapid increase in alcohol consumption, cigarette, and drugs.

To prevent suicide, people who are close to the patient should never hesitate to give them company. Also, the suicide prospects should be encouraged to talk during social gatherings and increase interaction with people. 

Though suicides thought to be uncontrollable, they can be prevented if correct measures are taken.
1.     Get help from psychologist and psychiatrist. 
2.     Encouraging social interactions.
3.      Creating an environment to share the feelings.  
4.      By taking suicidal materials away from the patient. 
5.     Not leaving those people alone who have already committed suicides.
6.     Aware about the negative impacts of suicides.


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